A Friend of Sinners

When Jesus came demonstrating the infinitude and omnipotence of good by healing the sick and casting out evils, the Pharisees accused him of being a friend of publicans and sinners. Because they had no true appreciation of good, they entertained a wrong sense of evil and the evildoer. Their distorted sense of good made them self-righteous. They were content with the observance of forms and ceremonies, seemingly oblivious of the fact that God requires the strong to help the weak in time of need. Because of their unwillingness to sympathize with and encourage the sinner in his struggle to free himself from the fetters of evil, they could not appreciate the efforts of the one who was able and willing to help those who desired to forsake sin and gain a truer consciousness of being. In the truest sense of the word Jesus was the friend of sinners; there never lived a man so far above sin as was he. Because he understood the eternal reality of good he could see evil as it is, and this made it possible for him to help those who were aroused to perceive "the exceeding sinfulness of sin," and who desired to be saved therefrom.

Jesus taught and demonstrated the only right method of healing sickness and destroying sin. His followers in this and every age must do as he did, if they would have part in the great work of saving humanity from sin and the suffering which must of necessity follow its indulgence. Here arise two very important questions: How shall one meet sin, and what should be his attitude of thought toward the sinner? One's success in healing the sick and reforming the sinner depends upon the way in which these vital questions are answered. From the human point of view it is hard to separate the individual from his sin, but spiritual understanding reveals individual man as an entity, and sin as a nonentity.

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